Thursday, January 12, 2006

Iraq Heading toward Tyranny, Not Democracy

An LATimes article explains the strong probability that eventually, Iraq will experience a coup and be ruled by dictator, similar to Saddam Hussein.

Selections follow:

The mere fact of an election cannot change a fundamental truth about Iraq: Saddam Hussein governed as a brutal dictator not simply because he was cruel but also because of the treacherous political landscape that destabilized his relationship with his own military. Hussein was highly vulnerable to a military coup, and future Iraqi leaders will be just as susceptible. Regardless of the election's outcome, a coup will probably follow a U.S. pullout, and Iraq will again be ruled by a dictator.

Before the war, when foreign policy experts warned Bush that Iraq was ungovernable, they did not literally mean that the country could not be governed. Rather, they meant that ruling Iraq for any length of time, with any level of stability, requires an iron fist.

The experts were right. Washington still confronts the same dilemma that it has faced all along. It can install a dictator to rule Iraq after U.S. troops leave, or it can leave behind a situation — perhaps even a nascent democracy — that will ultimately yield chaos, coups and then a dictator.

It is true that whoever finally emerges as the last leader standing in Baghdad will not be named Saddam Hussein. However, only a cynic — or a con artist — would depict Iraq's likely authoritarian future as a victory.


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